There are no prizes for guessing that most Tamil families love their filter coffee frothy. From the distinct aroma of the ground coffee powder to the way it is poured using a set of stainless steel tumblers and davarah (the bowl-like container at the bottom) to create the froth, filter kaapi or the brew-drip coffee holds a special place for many coffee lovers.
For making that perfect cup, (or should we say, tumbler), all you need is a perfectly brewed coffee decoction — a mix of boiled water and ground coffee powder (that is different from instant coffee powder) and a set of coffee filter utensils.
Know your coffee powder
Needless to say, its important to use the right coffee powder for filter coffee. A blend of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans — roasted and freshly ground — is considered to be the perfect mix. It is said that the process of roasting coffee beans releases 80 per cent of the aroma into the coffee. While a lot of people prefer a little Chicory (roasted and ground woody plant) which gives the coffee its aroma and colour, it is considered to have side-effects for people with allergies, and also pregnant women. Hence is not encouraged by many families.
For best results, it is advised to use a South Indian coffee filter, which is a pair of stainless steel or brass utensils (with a perforated top), with a lid and stemmed disc.
Ingredients for filter:
1 – Coffee filter
3tsp – Freshly ground coffee powder
1 cup – Boiling hot water
Method for filter:
*Add three medium teaspoon of coffee powder in the top perforated container of the coffee filter and place the stemmed disc to compress the powder.
*Place the top container over the stemmed disc but do not press it completely to fit the bottom container as this blocks the brewing process. Add 1/3 cup of hot boiling water to the upper cup of filter.
*Cover the lid. Leave the coffee filter undisturbed for at least half hour (for best results, leave it overnight) so that the brewed coffee can slowly drip into the bottom cup. The amount of water to coffee powder ratio is important to get thick strong decoction.
– Stay away from stirring or shaking the filter.
– If you are using an old coffee filter, it is good to heat the perforated top over a low flame (with adequate heat precautions as it will become very hot) for a few minutes as it opens up the perforations and helps to better the filter process.
– Do not tighten the lid or the bottom part too much as it will be difficult to open.
Time to make the coffee!
3/4 cup – Boiled milk
1/4 cup – Coffee decoction
3tsp – Powdered jaggery/sugar or as preferred
*In a tumbler, add all the ingredients and mix well. Alternatively, you can also boil the milk first and add the decoction and powdered jaggery/sugar and give it a good stir.
*Now pour the coffee back and forth in the tumbler and davarah to make the perfect frothy coffee.
-When you pour the coffee back and forth, be mindful of the heat and hold the tumbler and davarah from their rim.